Hindsight Is 2020: Why Trump Won A Second Term

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I am not one of those who assumes that either Donald Trump will quit, or be impeached because there is a “Blue Wave” in 2018. There are no assurances in life, and Trump has proven himself to be a surprisingly good demagogue when it comes to conning that 30% of the electorate that seems completely unwilling to realize what he’s up to.

So, if a time traveler were to magically pop up in front of me and tell me that Trump had won a second term, I wouldn’t be all that surprised. I will be sad and disappointed in my fellow Americans…again…but it wouldn’t really surprise me.

But suppose the time traveler in question did not tell me why Trump won a second term. What would be my guesses as to how we managed to repeat the same mistake twice?

1. A split opposition
There is a very real chance that The Resistance will be split between Mark Zuckerberg and Al Franken. Or, in other words, between the tech business friendly liberal side and the progressive side. This has been an age-old problem for the Democratic Party and typical only when a relatively conservative Democrat pops up does the party win. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama being the mot notable examples. So, that would be my first guess.

2. We’re no longer a Republic
In this thinking, the sheer fact that Trump was a sitting president would mean it was simply impossible to get rid of him. Hence, America would go to a quasi-elected dictatorship of sorts, with only the historical quirk of an open seat sealing the deal altogether.

3. Yet more Russian meddling
This is a very real possibility. Given that the Vichy Republicans are completely indifferent to how the Russians hacked the 2016 election, it would make a lot of sense that they would do it again. So, pretty much the Republican Party would win AGAIN in 2020 for no other reason that they weren’t playing fair.

4. A wag the dog situation
If Trump were to start a major regional war with either North Korea or Iran at just the right time, he could probably ride a wave of popularity to a second term. If some hayseed rube like me a fly over state can think this up, then Mr. Bannon surely can.

5. A very weak Democratic candidate.
The worst case scenario is Hillary Clinton runs again in 2020. She has proven herself to be a horrible candidate and if she ran again, she would screw everything up…again. She has way too much baggage and she should let someone else run. It is possible that by 2020 Trump will have managed to churn out so many liberal martyrs that one of them will be good enough to defeat him.

6. People just got mad and didn’t engaged
If people don’t actually turn all their rage into actually political engagement, Trump will keep winning.

Regardless, I am cautiously optimistic that it’s at least possible that Trump will be defeated in 2020. Maybe. Hopefully.

Shelton Bumgarner is the editor and publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be contacted at migukin (at) gmail.com.

Hindsight Is 2020: Where The Race Stands Right Now

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

With all the talk of impeachment in the air these days, it’s kind of easy to miss sight of the obvious: it’s very possible Donald Trump will neither be impeached nor resign by the time the 2020 elections roll around. So, with that in mind, let’s look at some of the individuals who might run against Trump then.

Mark Zuckerberg
I would say Zuckerberg is probably, relative to my personal political leans, the best prospective candidate out there. He’s young, charismatic and very very wealthy. But he has some serious downsides relative to virtually everyone else who might look at him as a serious opponent to Trump. One is, I get the impression that Zuckerberg is definitely in the technocrat conservative business wing of the Democratic Party, pretty much about in the same spot as Mike Bloomberg. Given that by 2020 we may, as a nation, be completely polarized by such titanic forces that only about 2% of the electorate will be up for grabs, Zuckerberg running for office could very well tear the Democratic Party apart, which would allow Trump to — sigh — win reelection.

Jon Stewart
This, at least right now, is a rather fanciful daydream. Stewart would be, in some respects, the Democratic Party’s direct answer to Trump. But, for personal reasons, I doubt Stewart would run. He just wouldn’t be willing to take the leap into serious politics. He’s too interested in being a comic to risk what might happen to his life if he stops being silly and is serious about political change. But, having said that, he’d be a great candidate and I think he would do a lot to energize the base of the Democratic Party.

Al Franken
Franken is pretty much perfect from a political standpoint in this era of Trumplandia because not only is he a celebrity, but he’s a comic as well. And as we all know, the only person who stands up to a middle-school bully is the class clown. So, Franken could be a serious political contender in 2020. He has the most traditional political arc to doing it, at least. I think he would have a better than 50/50 chance of actually pulling it off because of his skill set. A lot would have to do with the state of the economy in 2020.

Elizabeth Warren
While I think she would do a great job, she can come off a little shrill to people who are immediate fans, and the very same misogyny that sunk the Hillary Clinton campaign would do the same thing to Warren. She is good at holding her own, though, and she might be a darkhorse.

Sally Yates
Ms. Yates is a potentially great candidate because she is something of a martyr for the cause. She may be a little bit too conservative for some people in the Democratic Party, so there’s that to take into consideration. And there are no signs that she wants to be president, given that she won’t even run for governor of Georgia as the Democratic Party there wants her to. But she’s definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Corey Booker
Booker is another one of those candidates who seems great on paper, but in practice might not be as good as we would like. His progressive credentials have been tarnished a little bit these days and though he’s charismatic, it would be interesting to see if that translates as well as a presidential candidate as you might think.

Really, my main fear is keeping the Resistance together. It is too likely that the Obama wing will bolt from the Bernie wing and you might have to major candidates running against Trump in 2020, thus assuring he wins again.

Hindsight Is 2020: Run, Jon Stewart, Run

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Though it is highly unlikely this will ever happen for various reasons — and if it does, we’re probably going to have to wait eight, not four years — I think Jon Stewart should run for office. And do so as quickly as possible.
While Minnesota Sen. Al Franken — an SNL alumn — is probably the person who will actually run, it seems in this weird world of Trumplandia that we live in Jon Stewart would be the perfect guy to bring some level of sanity back to our political process.

Don’t get me wrong, Sen. Franken would be a great guy to be president. He has the political experience and wit to crush someone like Donald Trump in debate. And he’d be a good president. But he’s maybe a little too droll for his own good. He’s funny, but it’s someone like Jon Stewart who could mobilize the center-Left base to the extent needed to win.

But there are lots of problems with this proposal.

First, it seems as if Stewart has no desire to be in the public eye at all. It seems as if he would prefer to pet stray animals in a zoo than change the world. That’s why I think not until we have to suffer through eight years of Donald Trump will Stewart finally decide to change his mind and do something that might help America get back on its rational feet.

Now that the precedent of a celebrity such as Trump becoming president has been set, it doesn’t seem that odd that someone like Stewart might run for president. I keep expecting him to run for governor of New Jersey, but that seems like something of a pipe dream.

And there’s a lot about his state of mind we don’t know. Would he be willing to make the cognitive leap to be taken seriously? Would he actually be willing to stop cracking jokes long enough to be serious about politics? That doesn’t even begin to address the issue of the various personal issues he’d have to deal with when it comes to putting himself in the public eye the way a major political candidate has to.

My guess is he won’t do it — ever. It’s unfortunate, too. He has all the qualities needed to run for office in today’s media environment.

Though, I would note something to keep an eye on. Should Stewart join Twitter, then I think maybe he’s thinking about running for office. Stewart doesn’t use any social media right now as best I can tell and should that change, all bets are off.

It would be really cool if Stewart ran for office, but, alas, it may remain a daydream for the writer of a blog no one reads.